Wrecks mar weekend for many
Six people, including a Colorado State Patrol trooper, were taken to a Grand Junction hospital after a three-vehicle accident that began with a van trying to make a turn in front of a State Patrol cruiser.
Grand Junction Police Department Sgt. Lonnie Chavez was at the scene and said the State Patrol vehicle was westbound on Interstate 70 Business Loop. The van was eastbound and was turning north onto 28 Road when it was hit by the State Patrol vehicle. Chavez said the State Patrol trooper had the right of way.
The collision with the van knocked the State Patrol vehicle into a Toyota Camry that was on 28 Road and stopped at the intersection’s traffic light.
In addition to the trooper, the two elderly passengers in the van and three passengers from the Camry were taken by ambulance to the hospital. None of the injuries was considered serious,
Chavez said, adding the trooper was shaken up and dizzy.
There were no indications alcohol was a factor in the accident, he said.
Local law enforcement was kept busy throughout the day Saturday by serious accidents:
• A two-vehicle accident around 1 a.m. left two people dead and another hospitalized, and a 20-year-old Parachute man was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and other offenses. See the story on page 1A for more details.
• A motorcycle was driven into the side of a pickup at 10th and Main streets around noon.
The man and woman on the motorcycle suffered “serious injuries,” according to the Police Department. Police did not know the extent of their injuries or release their names Saturday afternoon. “We do not believe alcohol was a factor in that crash,” police spokeswoman Kate Porras said.
The investigation is ongoing.
• Around 1 p.m., a three-vehicle accident tied up traffic at 25 Road and U.S. Highway 6&50. Eric Gomez, 37, of Grand Junction, was driving his maroon Buick north on 25 Road when he turn across several lanes of traffic east onto U.S. Highway 6&50, Porras said.
His Buick careened into an oncoming pickup. The collision damaged the fronts of both vehicles, Porras said.
Gomez attempted to flee but was chased by two off-duty police officers who witnessed the accident.
Officers chased Gomez behind Sam’s Club and arrested him at Hall and Bass streets, police said.
“We’re lucky that those two officers were there and were able to track him down,” Porras said.
Police are looking into the possibility that alcohol consumption contributed to the accident, she said.
Gomez was being held at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of criminal impersonation, driving under the influence, careless driving, failure to show proof of insurance, failure to remain at the scene of an accident and failure to notify police of an accident.